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Fictional Displacements: An Analysis of Three Texts by Orhan Pamuk

Gurses, H; (2013) Fictional Displacements: An Analysis of Three Texts by Orhan Pamuk. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This study aims to discuss the structural and contextual configuration of three books by Orhan Pamuk: The White Castle, My Name is Red and Istanbul: Memories of a City. The central line of enquiry will be the possibility of representing identity as the attempt to capture the elements that make the ‘self’ what it is. Without limiting my analysis to an individual or national definition of identity, I will argue that Pamuk, writing through the various metaphysical binaries including self/other, East/West, word/image, reality/fiction, and original/imitation, offers an alternative view of identity resulting from the definition of representation as différance. I will argue that within the framework of Pamuk’s work representation, far from offering a comforting resolution, is a space governed by ambivalence that results from the fluctuations of meaning. Representation, for Pamuk, is only possible as a process of constant displacement that enables meaning through difference and deferral. Accordingly the representation of identity is no longer limited to the binaries of the metaphysical tradition, which operate within firm boundaries, but manifests itself in constant fluctuation as ambivalence. Within this framework I will suggest that Pamuk’s works operate in that space of ambivalence, undermining the firm grounds of metaphysics by perpetually displacing any possibility of closure. Initially focusing on the self/other dichotomy I will argue that the representations of the ‘self’ are its reinventions through difference and deferral thus representing it as ‘an-other’. Using the theoretical framework offered by the writings of Jacques Derrida I will study the various textual and stylistic strategies that Pamuk uses in the his books to enable the representation of identity as différance.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Fictional Displacements: An Analysis of Three Texts by Orhan Pamuk
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1384269
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